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Old 08-27-2020, 03:26 PM
minorhero's Avatar
minorhero minorhero is offline
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Default Re: 4 Foot Vivarium Build From The Ground Up

Quote:
Originally Posted by jgragg View Post
You're a pretty good carpenter, that all looks great.

While I've placed and finished my share of flatwork, I've never cast concrete or used a plasticizer. I'm planning to cast some raised-bed planters (four walls separately) as well as make a topper for my backyard block wall. So it's nice to see a viv guy taking a stab at it and doing OK.

Curious if you considered including perlite or something to reduce the weight of your sculpture? Instead of pre-mix, a DIY mix of Portland cement + "stuff". This guy is my inspiration for the raised beds plus wall topper:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hBvPs7CBf5Q He's got a little series of vids, various builds as well as some strength testing. He's pretty analytical, it's nice.

So sorry about all the do-overs! My wife is a little (OK quite a lot) like that - has abundant opinions but isn't very open with them up front. Just later, after I'm well into whatever the job is. Ha ha. Argh. I've learned to try harder to draw her out before I'm committed. Success still varies...ah, the human condition. Ha ha.
Thank you! Casting concrete is both fun and a bit nerve racking given how fast the stuff I'm using starts to cure. You have a few minutes (as in less then 10 or 15) to do things and then you are losing viscosity and things are starting to set. Other mixes have working time measured in hours so something slower would probably be better.

I actually have seen some of this guys earlier work though its been at least a year since I checked in with what he was doing. I began my foray into concrete with the idea of casting 2 walls out of 5 of a 120 gallon aquarium. I originally wanted to know if I could get the same strength out of concrete that I would get out of glass. I ended up not pursuing it when my strength tests showed me it wasn't a good idea in the 1/2" thickness I was targeting. Anyway that's how I found his videos the first time.

I have been tempted by the idea of making a vivarium out of concrete instead of plywood but have been put off by the weight of the structure. I need the finished product to not weigh more then I can move by myself with a hand truck. Maybe this will offer another solution? Thank you for the link and update!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Encyclia View Post
This is great, minorhero! The birch would have been fine, but the walnut just looks awesome. I think you made the right call. Have a good vacation!

Mark
Thank you! Its a pretty material to work with which is always fun.

And with that:

UPDATE:

After much ado, I finally am back and ready to do the glue-up. I used pocket holes to join the short side of the frame to longer pieces for both top and bottom frames:



Once that was in place I could glue the verticals and plywood in place and then slide the top frame into place. I practiced this maneuver once with everything just dry and clamps in place so I would know how to do it with the glue involved. I've found this is just good practice so you don't end up making a fubar as soon as glue hits the wood. I'm glad I did as well since the order of what I wanted to do needed to change because the plywood was simply too tight a fit to 'slide' down the channel I had created. Likely there was some swelling in the wood with humidity being high the last week or so.

Anyway here is how it looks now:



In 8 hours or so the glue will be dry and I can begin doing a LOT of sanding. Once the sanding is at a reasonable level I can add the bottom panel supports, bottom panel, and back panel. At that point I can start thinking about doors... since I plan to have a couple of those ;P
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